“Being content doesn’t mean you don’t want a man, it just means that a man isn’t all you want.”
The other day, I was randomly thinking about how far I’ve come in my single season. Initially, I was angry and wanted to punch everybody. I couldn’t understand how this unicorn (me) could be single. I had invested so much of myself in so many relationships just to end up twenty-nine, with no husband, or no prospect of a husband in sight. After being angry for a while, I began to figure out the reasons why my previous relationships hadn’t worked and what not to do in the future. Then one day, something shifted. Through lots of alone time, plenty of prayer, and much time spent healing, I woke up happily single. It didn’t matter how many IG posts I saw of #RelationshipGoals, it didn’t matter how many people asking my almost 30 self when I was having kids, and it didn’t matter that some of my exes had moved on and gotten engaged. For once in my life, I realized that I was 100% at peace with not having anyone. It sounds pretty lonely, I know. Like I may be sitting on my couch with five cats while writing this. But seriously, it is the best feeling ever; plus I don’t like cats. Being happily single is all about your perspective. That’s why there are 3 stages to single, because not everyone sees being single the same. Since men and women see single completely different, this post is mostly dedicated to the ladies. I sat down and thought about my journey to this point, and each stage had a name: misery, discovery, and contentment.
- Misery: For most of my love life, I have fallen into this stage. I often looked at being single as a sickness you can catch that just wouldn’t go away. It made me sad, it didn’t feel right, and I often used “medicines” to cope. I coped with being miserably single by going out a lot, drinking too much, and dating several men that I knew I had no future with. But where did this misery come from? I believed it derived from several places. For one, people naturally want to be with somebody. We yearn for physical touch and companionship, so naturally we want relationships. But what society fails to tell you is that we can actually live without being in one. When everyone is telling you that you should be married by a certain age and you’re supposed to have a man once you’ve accomplished certain goals, women begin to believe the hype. This puts a false expectation on our love life which makes us want to be with someone immediately. So we not only yearn for it naturally, we now have the pressure from everyone around us telling us we suck because we’re single. Then when you do date someone, and that doesn’t work out, you’re stuck dealing with a breakup. This, on top of all the other things I’ve just mentioned, can ultimately leave you completely miserable. Needless to say, that’s why I’m calling the initial stage of single misery. For some, misery last long. Many never move out of misery because they are comfortable being unhappy about their life so they don’t want to change their perspective. Well after getting out of a breakup and being tired of dating the same way over and over, I refused to remain in the stage of misery. I woke up everyday determined to heal and aim towards a healthier way to deal with being single. If you have just gotten out of a relationship or just been single for a really long time and you think being single is miserable, this may be the stage you identify with.
“Once I realized I wanted to be better and not bitter, I started analyzing the why behind my single.”
- Discovery: Once I realized I wanted to be better and not bitter, I started analyzing the why behind my single. Not the shallow answer you give the guy on your first date, but the REAL deal you tell yourself when you’re all alone with your thoughts. I began to discover patterns in my dating. One pattern was I dated awful guys. I had horrible taste in men. I realized my self-worth was way low so the men I picked fit the level my self-worth was at. If you think you’re worthless, then you’ll date worthless men. I also moved way too quickly in relationships. I had the pace of a the hare when I should’ve been moving like the tortoise. I was extremely clingy due to abandonment issues I dealt with. I learned all of this because I stopped focusing on the what, and began to focus on the why. I knew I was single but I didn’t want to stay that way. I figured something I was doing had to be wrong because I kept yielding the same results. But even if I wasn’t wrong, there is always room for improvement. If you are tired of your unhealthy dating cycle and feel you keep meeting the same man in a different body, then you may be in the discovery stage.
“Content means in a state of peaceful happiness.”
- Contentment: This should be the goal for everyone everywhere. We should all aim to be content in all aspects of life. That’s in our jobs, with how much money we make, what kind of car we drive, etc. Content means in a state of peaceful happiness. This is not to get confused with complacency which means marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of deficiencies. In order to be content, you are beyond satisfied, you are at peace and you are happy. You’re at peace with being single. Most content people are actually intentionally single. Meaning they have made a choice to not date anyone but remain completely to themselves. I am choosing this route because I realized that 1) I don’t need anyone to make me happy 2) I focus better when I am alone 3) It takes time to be fully whole in order for the right man to find you. One of the biggest perspective shifts I had in my state of contentment was my priority shift. For a long time, having a man was my number one priority. I would lie to myself and say it wasn’t but deep down, I knew it was. I would stay up late and be tired for work if I had a date. I would ditch writing in order to talk on the phone with a guy. I would sometimes be so sad I was single that I couldn’t focus on my creativity. It sounds sad but many can attest to this but few will be completely honest and admit it. Once I shifted my priorities and put God first, my career second, and me third, I was much happier. If all you’re focused on is that fact that you don’t have a man, it is hard to be content with what you do have. Be free of negative thoughts and be happy where you are in life because the grass always looks greener on the other side. There are so many women staring at your fabulously single self wishing they could be you. And being content doesn’t mean you don’t want a man, it just means that a man isn’t all you want. Let that sink in, it’s deep. If you find yourself single, sexy, and free; understanding that being single for you is a choice and not a circumstance, then you my dear are in the awesome stage of contentment. Congratulations!
I hope understanding different phases has helped you understand which phase you identify with and which phase you’re aiming for. I am a firm believer that awareness is the gate to growth. Once you learn where you are and who you are, you can then create a goal for where you want to be. If you enjoyed this post, don’t be afraid to share it with your friends or to women you believe can benefit from this.
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